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Behavior changes: all apps

The Android 11 platform includes behavior changes that may affect your app. The following behavior changes apply to all apps when they run on Android 11, regardless of targetSdkVersion. You should test your app and then modify it as needed to support these properly, where applicable.

Make sure to also review the list of behavior changes that only affect apps targeting Android 11.

Privacy

Android 11 introduces a changes and restrictions to enhance user privacy, including the following:

  • One-time permissions: Gives users the option to grant more temporary access to location, microphone, and camera permissions.
  • Permission dialog visibility: Repeated denials of a permission implies "don't ask again."
  • Data access auditing: Gain insights into where your app accesses private data, both in your app's own code and in dependent libraries' code.
  • System alert window permissions: Certain classes of apps are automatically granted the SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permission upon request. Also, intents that include the ACTION_MANAGE_OVERLAY_PERMISSION intent action always bring users to a screen in system settings.
  • Permanent SIM identifiers: On Android 11 and higher, access to the non-resettable ICCIDs through the getIccId() method is restricted. The method returns a non-null, empty string. To uniquely identify an installed SIM on the device, use the getSubscriptionId() method instead. The Subscription ID provides an index value (starting at 1) for uniquely identifying installed SIMs, including physical and electronic. The value of this identifier is stable for a given SIM unless the device is factory reset.

To learn more, see the Privacy page.

Exposure Notifications

Android 11 updates the platform with the Exposure Notifications System in mind. Users can now run Exposure Notifications apps on Android 11 without needing to turn on the device location setting. This is an exception for the Exposure Notifications System only, given that it has been designed in such a way that apps using it can’t infer device location through Bluetooth scanning.

To protect user privacy, all other apps are still prohibited from performing Bluetooth scanning unless the device location setting is on and the user has granted them location permission. You can read more in our Update on Exposure Notifications post.

Security

SSL sockets use Conscrypt SSL engine by default

Android's default SSLSocket implementation is based on Conscrypt. Since Android 11, that implementation is internally built on top of Conscrypt's SSLEngine.

Scudo Hardened Allocator

Android 11 uses the Scudo Hardened Allocator internally to service heap allocations. Scudo is capable of detecting and mitigating some types of memory safety violations. If you are seeing Scudo-related crashes (for example, Scudo ERROR:) in native crash reports, refer to the Scudo troubleshooting documentation.

App usage stats

To better protect users, Android 11 stores each user's app usage stats in credential encrypted storage. Therefore, neither the system nor any apps can access that data unless isUserUnlocked() returns true, which occurs after one of the following takes place:

  • The user unlocks their device for the first time after a system startup.
  • The user switches to their account on the device.

If your app already binds to an instance of UsageStatsManager, check that you call methods on this object after the user unlocks their device. Otherwise, the API now returns null or empty values.

Emulator support for 5G

Android 11 adds 5G APIs to enable your apps to add cutting-edge features. To test the features as you add them, you can use the new capabilities of the Android SDK emulator. The new functionality was added in Emulator version 30.0.22. Selecting the 5G network setting sets TelephonyDisplayInfo to OVERRIDE_NETWORK_TYPE_NR_NSA, modifies the estimated bandwidth, and allows you to set meteredness to verify that your app responds appropriately to changes in NET_CAPABILITY_TEMPORARILY_NOT_METERED status.

Performance and debugging

JobScheduler API call limits debugging

Android 11 offers debugging support for apps to identify potential JobScheduler API invocations that have exceeded certain rate limits. Developers can use this facility to identify potential performance issues. For apps with the debuggable manifest attribute set to true, JobScheduler API invocations beyond the rate limits will return RESULT_FAILURE. Limits are set such that legitimate use cases should not be affected.

File descriptor sanitizer (fdsan)

Android 10 introduced fdsan (file descriptor sanitizer). fdsan detects mishandling of file descriptor ownership, such as use-after-close and double-close. The default mode for fdsan is changing in Android 11. fdsan now aborts upon detecting an error; the previous behavior was to log a warning and continue. If you're seeing crashes due to fdsan in your application, refer to the fdsan documentation.

Non-SDK interface restrictions

Android 11 includes updated lists of restricted non-SDK interfaces based on collaboration with Android developers and the latest internal testing. Whenever possible, we make sure that public alternatives are available before we restrict non-SDK interfaces.

If your app does not target Android 11, some of these changes might not immediately affect you. However, while you can currently use some non-SDK interfaces (depending on your app's target API level), using any non-SDK method or field always carries a high risk of breaking your app.

If you are unsure if your app uses non-SDK interfaces, you can test your app to find out. If your app relies on non-SDK interfaces, you should begin planning a migration to SDK alternatives. Nevertheless, we understand that some apps have valid use cases for using non-SDK interfaces. If you cannot find an alternative to using a non-SDK interface for a feature in your app, you should request a new public API.

To learn more about the changes in this release of Android, see Updates to non-SDK interface restrictions in Android 11. To learn more about non-SDK interfaces generally, see Restrictions on non-SDK interfaces.

Maps v1 shared library removed

V1 of the Maps shared library has been completely removed in Android 11. This library was previously deprecated and stopped functioning for apps in Android 10. Apps that previously relied on this shared library for devices running Android 9 (API level 28) or lower should use the Maps SDK for Android instead.

Interaction with other apps

Share content URIs

If your app shares a content URI with another app, the intent must grant URI access permissions by setting at least one of the following intent flags: FLAG_GRANT_READ_URI_PERMISSION and FLAG_GRANT_WRITE_URI_PERMISSION. That way, if the other app targets Android 11, it can still access the content URI. Your app must include the intent flags even when the content URI is associated with a content provider that your app doesn't own.

If your app owns the content provider that's associated with the content URI, verify that the content provider isn't exported. We already recommend this security best practice.